An Ultimate Guide on How to Use an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

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An auto-darkening welding helmet has been the most favorite welders’ choice because of its flexibility and unique features. These welding helmets are designed in a way that provides more safety and eye protection to the welders.

Compared to auto-darkening welding helmet vs. passive, an automatic darkening welding helmet is more in demand and use.

It’s because welders don’t have to put them off again and again, which ultimately means there is less chance of injuries due to welding and sparks and direct exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays.

If you are a specialist welder, you recognize much better that there are numerous kinds of welding processes like MIG, TIG or stick welding.

And if you are new to the welding world, then I’m sure that you would be keen to use them after hearing about the auto-darkening welding helmet. But do you know how to use it?

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Proper Use of Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Well! If not, then bear with us because, in this guide, we’re going to be aware of three vital points of using a self darkening helmet.

This guide will cover

  • How does auto darkening helmets work?
  • How to adjust the auto darkening helmets?
  • How to set the correct lens shade on your auto darkening helmets?

Let’s read on.

How Does Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet Works

The self-darkening welding helmet allows welders to continue their work without any interruptions. That’s why they’re one of the best safety gear everyone is looking for.

Such auto darkening helmets consist of an auto-darken filter lens, a type of LCD used in television, and machines used to show its function. To make the filter lens work, a combination of batteries and solar power is used.

That’s why the auto-darkening helmet can work for hours. Secondly, it comes with replaceable batteries. An indication is given when the battery goes down, and you can easily change the batteries and continue with your work.

Several light sensors are also present near the lens in an auto-darkening headgear. These sensors help in detecting the  arc. When the arc isn’t activated so, the welder is unable to locate their target.

But once started, the helmet sensors recognize the arc, and the shades increase from 10 to 13. It also means that the self-blackening welding lens darkens when it senses the arc, and from here, your eyes and face are protected from the harmful rays.

Hence, your eyes remain protected in this way, and you work using a auto-darkening welding helmet.

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How to Adjust the Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Adjusting welding safety helmet is challenging as comfortable it is for use. Setting the self-darkening welding helmets includes a lot of trial and error. It’s okay if this happens.

For most of the welders, this task is not easy, and if you’re a beginner, it might be hell challenging. But these hurdles favors you in a way that you learn how you can adjust your welding helmet according to your need and preferences.

If your automatic blackening welding helmet has knobs, it’s relatively easy to adjust the welding helmet with those knobs. If not, there are four steps by which you can set your auto-blackening welding helmet without any hassle.

The four steps include:

  • Adjustable fits
  • Sensitivity
  • Reaction time and delay
  • Shades

Now, let’s discuss them separately.

Adjustable Fits

To your shock, the self-blackening welding helmet has adjustable fits. Because of these fits, it isn’t possible to alter the helmet’s entire structure, but at least you can loosen or make sure it tight as per your specific need.

Hence, before starting the welding work, wear the welding headgear to examine if it fits on your head or not.

If you feel that your welding helmet might fall during work, tighten the helmet fits. Similarly, if you feel eye strain or headache, then it is a clear sign that you need to loosen the fits.

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It is one of the essential features of auto-darken welding settings. The sensitivity of a helmet determines the amount of light your welding helmet gives off.

Although it is entirely up to the welder to decide the sensitivity level for significant results, your helmet’s sensitivity should be accurate. Users make many mistakes here, but these errors give them a better understanding of the sensitivity level.

Usually, the sensitivity settings come by default in your welding helmet. But if you’re not happy with the setting, you can do it yourself by adjusting the sensitivity knob.

However, if modifying the sensitivity knob, you came to find that you were more comfortable with the helmet’s original settings, you should refer to the guidance manual that comes with the welding helmets and reset the helmet to the manufacturer’s level.

Reaction Time and Delay

Another essential feature that is crucial for adjusting the self-darkening welding helmet is reaction time and delay. This feature of the self darkening welding headgear decides how much time your helmet will take to change the lens according to the light in the surrounding environment.

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Low settings of reaction time and delay means quick reaction rate while higher settings mean slower reaction rate. When you decide a reaction time, perform a sun test when you change the setting.

Sun test is simply a process of waving your hand in front of the welding helmets while you look at the sun. When your auto darken welding helmet lens turns to lighten and darken quickly, then it means that your welding helmet has a quick reaction time.

On the other hand, if your lens stays dark via the moment you wave your time, it shows that your headgear has a sluggish response time. However, it would be great if you check out the manual guide for the reaction time.

The auto-darkening helmet manufacturers do include suggested reaction time for their helmets, so; it’s better to remain safe than be sorry.


Like you set the auto darken welding lens, similarly, it’s also essential to set the welding helmet shades. The self darkening welding headgear comes in three ranges of shades.

When your self-blackening helmet itself darkens the lenses so, there come multiple levels of variable shade. When you’re welding in a light area, there’s enough light for the auto-darkening welding helmets to secure you from harmful fumes.

Although the shades you use depends on your choice, you should never ignore the scale of your weld and the environment in which you’re doing your work because when you’re an industrial welder, then your nature of work requires darker shades.

In case you aren’t aware of the shade, you should adjust your welding helmet to the darkest shades.

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How to Set the Correct Lens Shade on Your Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

The self-darkening welding helmet settings offers a set of shades for better visibility. The shades range from low as 6-9 to high as 9-13. While maintaining a quality and safety standard, the auto-blackening welding shield offers an additional grind mode feature.

This mode allows us to lower the fixed shade settings to #3.5 or even #4. This feature is handy for the welder as it enhances visibility during grinding and lessens the chance for the welder to remove their helmet after regular intervals.

Below are three ways to set the control lens shade on your auto-darkening welding helmet. Various tools & applications, equipment, and processes produce different UV lights; thus, adjusting the auto-darken welding lens is crucial.

Most of the auto darkening welding helmets contains a control pad on either inside or outside the helmet. The control pad allows you to select your choice; thus, the auto-darken welding lens adjusts the shade when you strike the arc.

Here are three ways to set the lens on the welding helmet. Remember, these auto-darkening welding helmets setting protect you by making certain adjustments to perform the task.

Sensitivity Control

This setting adjusts how much brightness should be allowed to trigger the lens. It is essential for all professional welders who expose themselves to welding work daily. This level is inevitably personal.

The option of sensitivity control assures that the helmet will get dark only when you want. For instance, if other welders are working near yours, the auto darkening welding helmets arc can be reduced by sensitivity control feature to prevent triggering when other welders strike their arc sensors.

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Switching Speed

It describes how fast the helmet moves in between the light and dark modes. The helmet will move more quickly when it senses the welding arc in protecting your eyes.

Solar powered welding helmets geared up with an auto darkening lens that supplies a 1/20,000 second switching speed as soon as you begin welding. The solar powered welding headgear also provides you complete view of your welding area, larger viewing area offers you much more exposure to the weld.

Delay Controls

It helps in adjusting the auto darken welding lens once the welding arc stops. The delay can be up to 0.5 to 2 seconds. This setting is more useful when you’re working on a large project, and you need a short wait to perform the next weld.

A long delay is helpful at high amperages when the metal continuously emits harmful rays until it cooldowns. To keep your eyes protected, make sure that you have rightly adjusted the lens on your auto-darkening welding helmet.